In his message given July 16, 2019 from Medjugorje on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Fr. Maximillian Dalvai makes the point that Elijah is a precursor of Mary, and the Cloud that was Mary that rose over the mountain for Elijah is now Medjugorje rising over the Church. We are in very important times. And we need to be clothed by Mary. Listen to his words:
His opening remarks:
This month of July as we contemplate, venerate, adore the most precious blood of Jesus, which is the very center. The center of Jesus is His Heart! But His heart is filled with blood! This blood is the very home of His love, the habitat of His love. And this love makes His blood boiling and feeding the whole body continuously in the Eucharistic celebration throughout the world in the history of the Church and for all times as we are allowed to enter into the heart of Jesus. We believe in his heart, in his love.
We contemplate today Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. She introduces us…brings us to the depth of spiritual life to contemplate, to enter into the heart of Jesus, that in holy simplicity to abide in love. That’s all about spiritual life, deep spiritual life, Mary said in simplicity. She wants to lead us there. And then she said, “But you are so cold!” She said that in 1989 in a message [Feb 1989] Let us ask the grace that we may truly believe in the love of God, in an intimacy that he wants to have with each one of us.
Today in the church we are so head orientated and seldom let the heart speak too. From the head to enter into the heart. That’s the whole journey of the spiritual life. There Mary wants to guide us.
She speaks of the triumph of her Immaculate Heart. And so today as we look to her as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, we know that in a certain way this celebration is closely linked to Medjugorje, because Carmel is the place where Elijah the prophet is like the precursor of the order of Mt. Carmel. They themselves – the order of Carmelites – don’t speak about a founder. Their founder, in a certain way, was Elijah. Obviously, Our Lady, but Elijah is the precursor of the holy order.
Then in history of time, of the Church this precursor we know, on the 24th of June, here, Mary appears here on the feast day of St. John the Baptist, who Jesus says is Elijah. So today, here, Mary wants again to bring us the heavenly dew, to bring us to Christ, to the little cloud. Let us open our hearts to grace. Let us ask humbly, pardon for our coldness, for whenever we didn’t follow her gentle advice, to let ourselves be guided into deep spiritual life in holy simplicity. Letting ourselves be loved, and love.
Listen to his Homily:
Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel and bowed down to the earth, putting his face between his knees. I think that is a beautiful sign of contemplative prayer, where our intellect, our thoughts are silenced in prayer of adoration, humble, confident loving prayer of adoration.
St. Teresa of Avila, the great Carmelite Doctor of the Church (actually the Carmelites they have of the four women who are doctors of the church, they have Two are Carmelites. One is Edith Stein, (St Theresa Benedicta of the cross). She is one of the patrons of Europe. How many saints the Carmelites have! That Order in the Church which gives us the charism of deep prayer and contemplation.
And so, for St. John of the Cross, another Doctor of the Church. He says that his prayer is just loving. Obviously, love is not an emotion but a result of ardent faith. For him prayer is an exercise of faith. But when we think of exercise we think of something from the head. No, it’s he says the same God which ancient saints contemplate in heaven with awe and love and adoration, burning in His love, jubilating in his love, that same God- you are before Him always. But most especially in prayer. So, exercise our eyes of faith. Make acts of faith in the presence of God always. But the most special way as you to enter into prayer.
If we would have a seed, a mustard seed of faith, Jesus said, we would move mountains. A mustard seed is very little, but the quality of a mustard seed is that it is alive. We can have a mountain of faith which is dead but no charity in it. The life of faith is charity.
So anyway deep contemplative prayer is not a matter of a lot of thinking, St. Teresa of Avila said. Even without a lot of speaking, but with a lot of loving. So, in simplicity, Mary wants to guide us here in a deep spiritual life. And therefore, Medjugorje has very much to do with Mount Carmel.
For as we come here the first time in Medjugorje, the second time in Medjugorje, Medjugorje becomes a spiritual journey, and then we have to understand better what prayer is. It is not to recite prayer. But to open ourselves to prayer which is a relationship in its essence.
Now obviously in a relationship in the beginning, we will talk. We talk a lot, we get to know each other. Where are you from, what do you do, what are your hobbies? Whatever. You get to know a person. But then there comes a moment when you look at each other, we contemplate each other. We embrace each other. And all that creates an intimacy.
God would like to do all that with each one of us. He would like to enter into intimacy with us. Heart to heart. He gives His Heart and the very contents of his heart, which is His Blood. Where resides His love, His burning love.
So, we have to be careful as we pray, when God touches our hearts. We shouldn’t say to God, “God, wait a moment, I have to finish my prayers.” Sometimes we just recite prayer and then we have done our duty. No there is much more. Infinitely more. That is just the beginning.
There is no end to the Love of God. The only end is “oneness”. And that will be fully completed only in heaven. Here on earth it remains a journey. A daily adventure, a daily encounter. Always deeper. If we let ourselves be guided by His Holy Spirit. Because this is Jesus Christ, the Author and Perfecto of our Faith.
Obviously we see this journey. We see it in this Gospel, but also in Elijah. He went up the mountain. Just divine providence, here in Medjugorje we have two mountains. Medjugorje means “between the mountains.” He went up the mountain, which we know ends in Calvary.
Now we all want the sweetness of intimacy with Jesus, but seldom do people want to share in His crosses, in His Passion. And that is actually necessary. St. John of the Cross said very few want that. They want only the joys and the pleasures. But to have these joys and pleasures, always deeper we have to get rid of self. Where there is “I” there is not God. We have to make space, room, for God in us.
As we pray, let us learn in the silence, in the stillness. God speaks in the silence of our hearts. We have rooms of words. So, to find each day moments of silence. A moment of stillness and listening to God who speaks to us in other words, words without noise. And that silence is most beautiful, it is filled with divine love, goodness, beauty.
Another saint, Elizabeth of the Trinity, another Carmelite nun, said “God is silence.” And she said, “In prayer, we live already in heaven, here on earth, for God is in our heart, and God is heaven.” Those are some of her words.
So to look to the Carmelite spirituality, not what others wrote about them, but what the saints say. Go to the root, go to the fountain. And don’t drink from the plastic bottles in all the books. Go to the root. Find what they said. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross. It is a little bit hard with St. john of the Cross. Start with little Therese of the Child Jesus, she is another Carmelite Doctor of the Church, who shows us the little way. It is just confident trust and abandonment. Assurance, to be loved.
That journey is good, contemplated through the Rosary. In fact, the soul of the Rosary, as St. John Paul II said…the soul of the Rosary is the life of Jesus. The saints, like St. Teresa of Avila, and many other saints, contemplated specially the Sorrowful Mysteries. Jesus’ Passion, His Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, His Crucifixion. But as you pray the Rosary, never think it is something of the past. For it is always now. It is always now.
When you pray the Sorrowful Mysteries, we must be with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, because it is always now. He’s not bound by time. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He embraces all time and space. And everything He brings to the Father.
So, as you pray the Glorious Mysteries, it is the Ascension. It is always Ascension time. The whole history, although today it doesn’t seem so, because we see so many evil things going on…domination and dictatorship of relevatism, of communism, whatever in the world, as we see the world in entirety. And yet, Christ is reigning and bringing everything to the Father.
But we can make a conscious choice to say yes to that journey. And so, we help others to find their way home. For we are all here on that journey. And that is the very reason for our lives, the meaning of our lives. Mary said it is Christ, Himself. Only Him.
And on the journey Mary gives us her mantle. The Carmelites have the privilege to give us the scapular. Which is first of all protection, alive and when dying! How important that protection is. To be protected. The other meaning is that Mary wants to clothe us. She wants to clothe us, under her mantle. She wants to live in us. She wants to think in us, to breathe in us, to work through us, in order for what? To form in us, Christ.
That is the dignity of John under the Cross as Jesus entrusted John to Mary. “And he took her into his home.” That she could form again that miracle that is Christ in our hearts and in our midst in this world.
Mary is that little cloud that appeared as Elijah prayed. Obviously in the history of mankind that cloud is Mary. She brings us Jesus. But in the history of the Church, that cloud is Medjugorje. In the desert of our times, as I said, of all these new ideologies which come forth from the big mainstream, megatechs that today manipulate all of humanity. In that desert of our time, Medjugorje is like that little cloud. And it is getting bigger.
38 years ago, that little cloud seemed like nothing. Behind the Iron Curtain, a little village, 6 children, little children. But now after 38 years we see that that cloud has grown bigger. Eventually, and already, little drops of water are falling. How many conversions, how many vocations…but the full rain has not yet begun. The full rain of grace.
Mary said in her last message – a new Pentecost – she said, “the Holy Spirit will renew the face of the earth.” All this can be hastened, and we can contribute to it, through our daily prayer. Prayer in hiddenness. The Carmelites, they don’t pray in front of the plazas where everyone will see them. They remain hidden. St. Edith Stein, she wanted to be hidden, although she was a very famous philosopher before her conversion.
In silence, offering our lives, in union with Christ. That is the beauty of life. That is the fullness of life. And so, we can contribute and really become always more the Apostles of Love of Our Lady. She can clothe us daily, more and more through the Blood of Jesus. The Sacraments with Christ, her Son, who today through us wants to be present to the world. And draw all things to the Father. Amen.
You can hear Fr. Max give this homily on Mary TV at their web page at: